Comedy Carpet spring clean ahead of the start of Blackpool's 2022 tourism season
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The carpet, which sits in the shadow of the world-famous Blackpool Tower and celebrates the jokes, songs and comedy catchphrases of Britain’s best-loved comedians and writers, has been given a sparkling spring clean.
Created by artist Gordon Young in association with leading design agency, Why Not Associates, the carpet was given a deep clean by local commercial cleaning service, HLS Cleaning, in readiness for an influx of visitors over the forthcoming Easter holidays.
It took just one day, four men and three steam cleaning jet washers to restore the 1,880 square-metre Carpet, which opened in 2011, to its former glory.
Chris Shaw, managing director of HLS Cleaning based on Lytham Road in Blackpool, said: “It was really dirty – it's bound to happen when there is a lot of traffic going over it.
"There was a lot of build up with rubber markings from skateborders and bikes, footprints, thousands of pieces of chewing gum, sea spray and carbon.
"It was only when the ice rink was there over Christmas that you could really see how dirty the Comedy Carpet had become because the ice rink was so clean and white – and that's how the Carpet looks now!
"It took one day to clean, and we had four men and three steam cleaning jet washers on it.
"It’s an attraction so it’s great to see it looking so much better.”
The work was undertaken thanks to the Government’s Welcome Back Fund which is helping to facilitate Blackpool’s post-pandemic tourism recovery.
A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “The Comedy Carpet is one of Blackpool’s most popular free attractions and it attracts a huge number of visitors.
"Over the course of a tourism season, that is a lot of footprints!
“We are delighted that we have been able to access Welcome Back funding to give the carpet a fresh look for the 2022 season.
"Blackpool is the home of popular entertainment and the Comedy Carpet is a fitting tribute to so many comedians who have graced our stages and venues down the years.”
Around 1,000 comedians and writers are celebrated with letters ranging in size from a few centimetres to almost a metre tall so that the laughs can be enjoyed close up and at height from the top of the Tower.
In total, the artwork contains over 160,000 granite letters and is a remarkable homage to those who have made the nation laugh through the generations.
The Comedy Carpet spring clean is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
It’s a strong sign that Blackpool is ready and raring to go for the next tourist season, after already announcing a programme of events, shows and attractions as the town looks to build on the staycation boom of last year.
This year’s season will see the return of major events including the two-day Air Show, a two-month extension of the annual Illuminations season and Blackpool Zoo celebrating an important milestone – its 50th anniversary.